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Morning Media Newsfeed: Village Voice Turmoil | NY Post Buyouts | Say Media Layoffs


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Top Editors Abruptly Leave Village Voice Over Staff Cuts (NYT)
The tumult that has characterized The Village Voice in recent years resurfaced on Thursday when the top two editors said they were leaving the weekly newspaper. Will Bourne, who became editor last November, and Jessica Lustig, the deputy editor since January, met with the staff at 11 a.m. on Thursday to announce their departure. In a phone interview, Bourne said that Christine Brennan, executive editor of Voice Media Group, had told them to lay off, or drastically reduce the roles of, five employees on the 20-person staff. Rather than carry out the cuts, he and Lustig resigned and left immediately, in the middle of closing next week’s paper. Gawker We hear that Michael Musto, the Village Voice‘s longtime society columnist and the last remaining vestige of the “classic” Voice, is one of the five Voice staffers targeted for layoffs — the proposed layoffs that caused the Voice‘s editors to quit today. Musto’s column, La Dolce Musto — a quirky mix of nightlife gossip, party talk, gay issues, and whatever the hell else has been happening in his life in the past week — has been running in the Voice for almost 30 years. NY Observer The downtown alt-weekly has been floundering of late. Last August, they had a significant round of layoffs and switched some full-time positions to part-time. Former editor-in-chief Tony Ortega left in September to focus full-time on debunking Scientology, prompting rumors the he was pushed out. Shortly after that, the newspaper chain underwent a corporate restructuring that separated the company’s papers from Backpage.com, the controversial and highly profitable adult online classifieds site that was a key source of revenue. FishbowlNY Bourne succeeded Ortega as editor of the Voice in late November.

New York Post Offers Buyouts; Seeks 10 Percent Staff Reduction (Capital New York)
The New York Post is offering voluntary buyouts to newsroom employees, editor-in-chief Col Allan informed the staff Thursday in a memo obtained by Capital. The paper is aiming to reduce its headcount by 10 percent through the buyout packages, which will be discussed with eligible employees. Allan also indicated the paper could achieve the 10 percent reduction through “other measures if necessary,” suggesting that layoffs are possible if not enough employees accept the buyouts.

Say Media Lays Off 10 Percent of Staff, Aims For Profitability in Second Half of 2013 (TechCrunch)
Matt Sanchez, co-founder and CEO of Say Media (which owns xoJane, ReadWrite, and Dogster), just told me that the company has laid off about 10 percent of its 400-person staff. Sanchez described this as part of Say’s transformation from an ad network to “a digital media company.” The company isn’t getting out of the ad network business completely, but he said that part of Say is relatively mature and that the company’s focus should be on the content side.

Round Two: More Layoffs at Daily News (Capital New York)
Following Wednesday’s bloodletting, Daily News journalists were bracing Thursday morning for another batch of pink slips to be handed out in the tabloid’s newsroom. A second round of layoffs had been planned for Thursday, Capital has confirmed, with speculation focusing on employees in the tabloid’s outer-borough bureaus in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Capital New York Colin Myler, editor of the Daily News, and Bill Holiber, the paper’s president, addressed the layoffs that claimed around 20 jobs in the paper’s newsroom over the past two days. “It is a process that has been difficult and painful,” they wrote in a memo to staff Thursday afternoon, which was obtained by Capital.

Politico to Test Metered Paywall (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Politico announced Thursday that it will start testing a metered subscription system in six states and internationally. For at least six months, those readers will be required to pay for content after consuming a set number of pages on the website. Politico will test different price points and page limits “to find the sweet spot for our readership.” The experiment will go into effect next week in the states of Iowa, North Dakota, Vermont, Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming. FishbowlDC Washington, D.C. residents, however, don’t need to fret. The memo says it won’t likely ever affect them.

Cyndi Stivers Joins AOL As Editor-in-Chief of AOL.com (AOL Blog)
It’s my pleasure to announce that AOL has hired Cyndi Stivers, a decorated journalist and digital media expert, to join our team as editor-in-chief of AOL.com. FishbowlNY Stivers most recently served the same role for Columbia Journalism Review. She has previously held senior editorial positions at Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York and Premiere. Stivers starts at AOL early next month.

Unpaid Intern Lawsuit Thrown Out (NY Mag / The Cut)
The Great Unpaid Intern Uprising suffered a major blow yesterday, when a judge ruled that former Harper’s Bazaar intern Diana Wang’s class action lawsuit against Hearst failed to meet the standard for “commonality.” The suit has been tossed out; Judge Harold Baer says the plaintiffs may file lawsuits individually, but not together.

Fox News Mole Joe Muto Enters Courtroom in Handcuffs (TVNewser)
Fox News mole Joe Muto entered a Manhattan courtroom in handcuffs Thursday afternoon, pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges. A source inside the courtroom tells TVNewser two detectives escorted a cuffed Muto into the courtroom, sat him on a back bench and about five minutes later removed the handcuffs as he moved to the front of the courtroom to hear the judge read out the plea agreement. Gawker The Manhattan DA has been investigating Muto since April of last year, when it raided his apartment and confiscated his laptop, cellphone and iPad. The agreement calls for Muto to pay a $1,000 fine, to forfeit the $5,000 “fruits of his wrongdoing” — Muto was (reportedly!) paid $5,000 by Gawker for his posts — and to serve more than 200 hours in community service at a nonprofit.

YouTube Launches Its Paid Subscription Channels With Select Partners (paidContent)
YouTube’s long-rumored paid channels are live: The Google-owned service started its new subscription offering with select partners Thursday. Partners include The Young Turks, UFC, Jim Henson Company, Mark Cuban’s HDNet and the Sesame Workshop.

British Tabloid’s Website Makes Foray Into America (NYT)
In recent days, one of the most comprehensive destinations for gossip about the Cleveland kidnapping victims was not an American news outlet. It was Mail Online, the website of The Daily Mail, a British tabloid that has taken a distinctly gossipy approach to all news.

Barnes & Noble Shares Soar on Microsoft Report (Reuters)
Shares in Barnes & Noble soared 22 percent on Thursday after a report that Microsoft is considering an offer to acquire the tablet and eBook business of B&N’s Nook Media unit. AppNewser Microsoft has been working with Barnes & Noble since last year, when the two companies came together to form a digital content subsidiary which included combining Barnes & Noble’s digital and college businesses into one unit.

Why Time Magazine Put A Woman on The Cover of Its Issue Complaining About Millennials (ThinkProgress / Alyssa Rosenberg)
There are many problems with Joel Stein’s cover story about Millennials — people born between 1980 and 2000. But one thing I think is useful and clarifying about the article, even as I find it frustrating, isn’t in the text at all. It’s the way that it’s being sold to the public: namely, with a picture of a well-dressed young woman, gazing into her iPhone, seemingly taking a picture of herself.

Netflix, Reed Hastings Survive Missteps to Join Silicon Valley’s Elite (Bloomberg Businessweek)
On a normal weeknight, Netflix accounts for almost a third of all Internet traffic entering North American homes. That’s more than YouTube, Hulu, Amazon.com, HBO Go, iTunes and BitTorrent combined.

The Cover That Launched A Thousand iBookstore Sales (GalleyCat)
Self-published novelist R.L. Mathewson initially published Playing for Keeps with a plain blue and white cover, but saw a significant sales spike in the iBookstore once she added a steamy Shutterstock photo to her cover

This Is The Best Moment to Be in Journalism (CJR / #realtalk)
I’ve spent the past two months on the conference circuit. I spoke to groups of journalists in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Alaska. And I’ll confess something to you: Even though I love working in media and mostly love the other people who do, too, it got to be really depressing. Question after question focused on limitations, ranging from “What if my editor doesn’t get it?” to “How are we going to pay for it all?”

Mediabistro Blogs

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FishbowlNY Village Voice Editors Resign Rather Than Fire Staffers

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Mediabistro Chats

Do you think it’s ok for people in Hollywood to use Kickstarter? mbist.ro/17OiFSv (via @paidContent)

twitter @donnavincentroa Sure. Why not?

twitter @SteffaniMaxwell I’d prefer Kickstarter to be for underdogs, but ok with celeb campaigns if their projects were rejected elsewhere.

twitter Jennifer Schmitt I don’t think it’s an either/or choice at all. A rising tide lifts all boats. If more people are aware of Kickstarter, that’s good for everyone.

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twitter LaShawn Williams They can ‘kickstart’ all they want–you don’t have to contribute if you’re not feelin’ it…

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